Medical doctors at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge) are racing against time to separate two months old conjoined babies.
This is the first time the doctors in the hospital will conduct such a specialised operation .
The Siamese twins are conjoined at the head and will need an amount of GH¢3,000.000.00 for surgery to enable them live independently.
A Neurosurgeon at the Ridge Hospital, Dr Samuel Kaba Akoriyea, in an interview with JoyNews’ Super Morning Show host, Kojo Yankson, said the operation will be done in various phases.
“A minimum of 45 stages of surgery will be required because when you view the image, the first thing you see is that their heads are joined. There is a bone defect because the brains are attached and you need to work on that. If we are able to separate them successfully, which we hope to, then we should have enough skin to cover up.
“Again, they have a lot of blood vessels that are now coming up and the more you wait, the more they get intertwined, and it becomes more difficult,” he said.
Conjoined twins are said to occur once in every 2.5 million births.
Parents of the twins, Justine Bansah and Samuel Addo, said they were surprised at the news of their twins being Siamese.
According to her, they had no idea she was carrying twins, not to talk of Siamese twins conjoined at the head.
“At the time, I had undergone surgery so I didn’t see them well. I could only walk to see them when I returned from the surgery. My husband told me that they have joined, I ask how? And he said they have joined from their head,” she narrated,
But for some encouragements from the doctors, Mr Addo would have blamed the occurrence on himself or others.
“I was thinking. Did I do something wrong or did I commit any crime or something like that? But the doctors told me that it does happen so it’s not like our old mothers or something [had caused that].”
The type of surgery to be performed is not common and it comes at a very high cost.
“The cost is quite expensive and very relative. When we did our search, this can cost between $1.5 million and 4.6 million dollars out there,” Dr Kaba said.
“And when we did the local cost to see, we came to around GH¢3,000,000.00 which is almost half a million dollars,” he added.
About 60 per cent of twins conjoined at the head, unfortunately, die in the womb and another 35% die within 24 hours after birth leaving only 5% who survive until surgery.
However, to have any chance of living, the Bansah babies, who have already defied great odds, will need another miracle of a GH¢3 million for the surgery.
“I am asking for help, I want Ghanaians and anyone at all to help me,” their father pleaded.